Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

Christian Skepticism endorses:

monergism.com

This site contains some of the most valuable God-centered resources a Christian Skeptic could ever want. Whether you peruse the copious free items or purchase something from their excellent online store, your worldview will never be the same!

Start Here to become a Christian Skeptic

We wanted to highlight this compilation by Paul Manata - The Philosophy of the
Christian Religion
- an excellent online resource for the development of the
well-considered Christian worldview.

Skeptical Insights

Good Blogroll (from Pyromaniacs)

  • Colin Adams
  • Charlie Albright
  • Aletheuo
  • Scott Aniol
  • Tom Ascol
  • Derek Ashton (TheoParadox)
  • Zachary Bartels
  • Tim and David Bayly
  • Rick Beckman
  • Tyler Bennicke
  • Bible Geek
  • Big Orange Truck
  • Andy Bird
  • John Bird
  • Bob Bixby
  • Timmy Brister
  • Fred Butler
  • Calvin and Calvinism (Classic and moderate Calvinism)
  • Cal.vini.st
  • Bret Capranica
  • Nathan Casebolt
  • Lane Chaplin
  • Tim ("The World's Most Famous Christian Blogger"®) Challies
  • The Conservative Intelligencer
  • The Contemporary Calvinist
  • The Conventicle
  • Craig's Blog
  • Deliver Detroit
  • Daniel (Doulogos)
  • William Dicks
  • The Doulos' Den
  • Martin Downes
  • Connie Dugas
  • Doug Eaton
  • Nicholas Edinger
  • Brother Eugene
  • Eusebeia
  • Stefan Ewing
  • Eddie Exposito
  • Expository Thoughts
  • Faces Like Flint
  • Reid Ferguson
  • Peter Farrell
  • Bill Fickett
  • Fide-o
  • Foolish Things
  • Chris Freeland
  • Travis Gilbert
  • Ron Gleason
  • Go Share Your Faith!
  • God is My Constant
  • Phil Gons
  • Joel Griffith (Solameanie)
  • Matt Gumm
  • Gregg Hanke
  • Jacob Hantla
  • Chris Harwood
  • J. D. Hatfield
  • Michael Haykin
  • Tony Hayling (Agonizomai)
  • Steve Hays and the amazing "Triablogue" team
  • Scott Head
  • Patrick Heaviside (Paths of Old)
  • Marc Heinrich's Purgatorio
  • Sean Higgins
  • Illumination (Rich Barcellos and Sam Waldron)
  • Inverted Planet
  • Tim Jack
  • Jackhammer
  • Craig Johnson
  • Alex Jordan
  • The Journeymen
  • Justified
  • Lane Keister (Green Baggins)
  • John Killian
  • David Kjos
  • Ted Kluck
  • Patrick Lacson
  • A Little Leaven (Museum of Idolatry)
  • Janet Lee
  • Let My Lifesong Sing
  • Libbie, the English Muffin
  • Light and Heat
  • Greg Linscott
  • Bryan Maes
  • Brian McDaris
  • Doug McMasters
  • Allen Mickle
  • The incomparable Al Mohler
  • Jonathan Moorhead
  • Ryan Moran
  • Stephen Newell
  • Dean Olive
  • Dan Paden
  • Paleoevangelical
  • A Peculiar Pilgrim
  • Jim Pemberton
  • The Persecution Times
  • Bill Pershing
  • Kevin Pierpont
  • Matt Plett
  • Wes Porter
  • Postmortemism
  • The Red and Black Redneck
  • Reformata
  • Reformation 21
  • Reformation Theology (sponsored by Monergism.Com)
  • Reformed Evangelist
  • Remonstrans
  • Carla Rolfe
  • Tony Rose
  • Andrew Roycroft
  • Eric Rung
  • Said at Southern Seminary
  • Seeing Clearly
  • Sharper Iron
  • Kim Shay
  • Neil Shay
  • Brian Shealy
  • Ken Silva
  • Tom Slawson's "Tom in the Box"
  • Tom Slawson's other blog
  • Doug Smith
  • Richard Snoddy
  • Social Hazard
  • SolaFire
  • Rebecca Stark
  • Kevin Stilley
  • Cindy Swanson
  • Talking Out Of Turn
  • Justin Taylor's "Between Two Worlds"
  • Robert Tewart (StreetFishing)
  • TheoJunkie's Thoughts on Theology
  • Theology Bites
  • Through the Veil
  • Three Times a Mom
  • Voice of the Shepherd
  • Jared Wall
  • Adrian Warnock
  • David Wayne
  • Jeremy Weaver
  • Steve Weaver
  • Über-apologist James White's legendary "Pros Apologian" blog
  • Brad Williams
  • Doug Wilson
  • Writing and Living
  • Ryan Wood
  • Todd Young
  • Monday, March 03, 2008

    Oprah's Pluralism

    I am amazed that so many actually believe that this woman is a Christian. However, this video should settle the issue of Oprah's religion once and for all.



    Oprah is a nice person (as well as an excellent self-promoter), but she is clearly NOT a Christian.

    BTW: See Chuck Norris's response to Oprah's latest "New Earth" course.

    50 comments:

    SocietyVs said...

    I actually rather liked Oprah's opinions on the subject - it leaves the discussion wide open about the 'path to God' or 'finding God' in our human realities. I have to admit I found the path to God via the teachings of Christ mind you - but not all will and yet we still see godly aspects to those people (ie: Jewish people for example).

    Now I don't really care if Oprah is a Christian or not per se - but is she a person that cares about humanity and the betterment of us as a whole peoples? I would say 'yes' from a look from the outside and based on the ideas she supports (ie: the whole big gift reality show). I really have a tough time not finding the love of God in that concept.

    Puritan Lad said...

    societyvs,

    I would implore you to consider the sinfulness of man's nature as well as the holiness of God. It is Christ alone who can, as both God and man, redeem us to the Father. Oprah's pluristic views take neither seriously.

    If, as you suggest, you take seriously the teachings of Christ, then give heed to his own warnings.

    "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

    "...unless you believe that I AM you will die in your sins." (John 8:24)

    Which will it be societyvs? Oprah or Jesus?

    zoegirl said...

    I couldn't finish it....it's sad that she is promoting such an unbiblical worldview. It's one thing to struggle with the question of what will happen to those who have never heard the Gospel of Christ, it's quite another to actively promote rejecting HIm, which, ultimately, she is doing when she claims that you can have a restored realtionship with God without Him.

    If she loves Christ and TRULY understands the gospel (and this applies to ANY person) we should be OVERJOYED to spread God's love to people and never be ashamed of it.

    Quite honestly, those who treat Christ's sacrifice and resurrection with such blase nonchalance speak very loudly of their own attitude of HIs gift. If it is such a great gift, why treat it so dismissively? Why equate it with wimpy acts like rituals and rigid deeds?

    And quite honestly, if we can be reconciled to God by simply resorting to rituals and "good thoughts", then why in the world did Christ even have to die!!??!?

    No the Gift from Christ should NEVER be equated with such pathetic attempts of humans. Christ came BECAUSE these pathetic attempts can never reconcile us to HIM!

    Praise God.

    zoegirl said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    SocietyVs said...

    "Oprah's pluristic views take neither seriously." (Puritan Lad)

    First off, one clip does not define one person's whole belief system - and that's how I view that video on Oprah. That being said, she says very little about her own belief set in that video to be honest.

    "If, as you suggest, you take seriously the teachings of Christ, then give heed to his own warnings." (Puritan Lad)

    Firstly, John 14:6 is not a warning - but a teaching. Now what does Jesus mean by the teaching about the 3 ideals of 'the way/truth/life' is worth the perusal alone.

    The question is posed by Thomas about where Jesus is going 'Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?". This is response to something Jesus says "And you know the way where I am going."

    Now Jesus is going to be with God -at least that's what I think he means "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you". So the place is somewhat defined.

    As for 'the way' there - well that's where we get into the meat of this discussion. I personally think when Jesus makes this statement he is referencing his teachings that 'lead us' to God - which we see also in verse 23 "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." It seems to me the vs.6 passage is solely about what 'the way' really is - it is what Jesus taught.

    What is it that Jesus bases his teachings on? The Tanakh - namely the Torah and prophets and the relationship with God found there. I mean we cannot forget these words either "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill" (Matt 5:17) or "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matt 7:12). Jesus has high regards for the Torah and prophets and in the sermon from Matthew - I would contend all of those teachings are from the Torah or Prophets.

    As for the John 8 and the claims Jesus is God - well this is going to be a great debate.

    John 8:25 "So they were saying to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them, "What have I been saying to you from the beginning?"

    What's the answer to that question? Jesus does a consistent answering game on this about 'how God sent Him..' and in chapter 7 we see an argument over Jesus being the 'Christ'. By John 14:28 we see this "I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I" - is Jesus claiming God-hood at all? Maybe the Christ eminates from God but is not God.

    As for the 'sins' question - I have no problem with that statement - however this only appears in this chapter in all of the book of John 'you will die in your sins' - and it is said 3 times. Now even if Jesus is claiming he is the cure for those sins - how so?

    We see in John 8 31-36 some of the answer to this question - "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Later on we see this again - the people not his disciples "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed". IN these passages he directly answers the 'sin' question (from verses 34+35). This all seems to be in relation to his 'words' and 'following that'.

    However, even if we get into the atonement idea then maybe Jesus is making them 'free' via that act then also - and whether they accept that or not - 'the son choose to do it'.

    But the atonement has it's own handful of problems with it - namely human sacrifice was outlawed in Judaic texts and the atonement of blood only covers 'un-intentional sins' - which oddly enough would cover 'ignorance'.

    Let me know what you think - i am rambling but this is going to be quite a convo.

    Puritan Lad said...

    societyvs,

    Your theology is a mess.

    First of all, Oprah did clearly outline her beliefs as pluralism, rejecting what the scriptures say about the only way to God. Apparently, you agree, and that is a big problem.

    Second, you seem to have a high regard for "the law and the prophets". That's a good thing. The problem, however, is your belief that this alone can lead you to God. This is because you and I have failed to keep the law. One sin is enough to make us worthy of Hell, and we have both commited far more than that. Like I said before, pluralism is not only illogical, but it takes neither man's sinfulness not God's holiness seriously. That is what I meant. No one can approach GOd via the law and the prophets, because no one save Christ has ever been able to keep it. This is why we need Christ's atonement.

    Finally, belief is Christ's Divity is not optional for salvation, per John 8:24, mentioned previously. The phrase "I AM" is clearly a claim to diety.

    The doctrine of the Trinity is clearly stated throughout the Scriptures, and I don't have room for all of the references here. I have placed a link below for you to read. What was the error of the Pharisees, but the denial of Christ's Deity and eternal pre-existence? "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'" (John 8:58). As a result of this statement, the Pharisees "picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple." (John 8:59). On another occasion, Jesus proclaimed "I and the Father are one." Again, "The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus inquired of them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God." (John 10:30-33). Let the cultists rage over the alleged "mistranslation", or misunderstanding concerning Jesus' words. The Pharisees understood quite well what Jesus was claiming.

    See The Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity

    swordbearer said...

    "As for 'the way' there - well that's where we get into the meat of this discussion. I personally think when Jesus makes this statement he is referencing his teachings that 'lead us' to God..."
    (societyvs)

    I think you have missed the point. Jesus could have just as easily said "My teachings" are the way. He did not. He said "I" am the way... in the SAME way he referenced himself in the seven other "I AM" statements found in John.

    Salvation is found ultimately not in a set of teachings, but in a person, Christ Jesus himself. The teaching point us to HIM, for he is the way. The apostle Paul speaks of this in Rom 3 when he writes "But now a righteousness FROM GOD, apart from law, HAS been MADE KNOWN. ... This righteousness from God comes through faith IN JESUS CHRIST to ALL who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION that came by CHRIST JESUS. God presented HIM as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." (Rom 3:21-25a)

    jazzycat said...

    societyvs,
    You said.... I actually rather liked Oprah's opinions on the subject - it leaves the discussion wide open about the 'path to God' or 'finding God' in our human realities.

    If you believe the Bible is true, then the case is not open, but closed. The Bible clearly establishes faith in the atonement of Jesus as the method God has chosen for men to be redeemed to eternal life.

    Do you really find it logical that the creator God of the universe would die on the cross for human salvation and that would be just one of many ways?

    If there were many other ways, I believe he would have passed on the cross and pointed men toward those other ways. The Bible not only gives no other ways, it denies salvation through false gods of mens' imagination.

    jazzycat said...

    societyvs,
    I meant to also ask. Are you involved in the emergent church movement?

    SocietyVs said...

    “Apparently, you agree, and that is a big problem” (Puritan Lad)

    Let’s not jump the gun there pal – however – I do like what Oprah said in that video – and the video does not outline her belief system in entirety and to think that is to under-sell someone’s capabilities and to also pre-judge someone without all the evidence – which I find problematic in turn.

    “That is what I meant. No one can approach GOd via the law and the prophets, because no one save Christ has ever been able to keep it. This is why we need Christ's atonement.” (Puritan Lad)

    I want to believe you on this but at this point I don’t – and I have reasons – from Jewish sources – and I will make some mention here.

    “There are 3 methods of atonement clearly defined in the Jewish scriptures: the sin sacrifice, repentance, and charity. Moreover, the sin sacrifice (known in the Jewish scriptures as korban chatat) did not atone for all types of sin, but rather, only for man's most insignificant iniquity: unintentional sins.” (Rabbi Tovia Singer)

    What needs to be noted here is that the other 2 ways to atone (repentance and charity) are found in the prophets! The sin sacrifice is found solely in Leviticus – the Torah. One need not wonder where Jesus got these ideas from. As for Jesus being the atonement from the Torah – well this hits obvious conundrums:

    “Jesus could not die for anyone's sins, whether they were committed intentionally or accidentally. To begin with, the Jewish people were strictly prohibited from offering human sacrifices under any circumstances. There is not one place throughout the entire corpus of the Jewish scriptures where human sacrifices are condoned…In the Book of Leviticus, only distinct species of animals are permitted for use in blood sacrifices.” (Rabbi Tovia Singer)

    This is from direct Jewish sources who both study the Law/Torah and analyze Hebrew from the books we use for this system – and they don’t believe it holds as much merit as we think – based solely on the passages from the Torah and the sacrificial system – something I can guarantee neither of us know in depth anyways – not being Jewish or raised in their studious traditions.

    So yes, someone can approach God according to the Prophets and Torah – and the Jewish scholar points this out clearly – via repentance and charity. Your claim isn’t true Puritan Lad.

    “Finally, belief is Christ's Divinity is not optional for salvation, per John 8:24, mentioned previously. The phrase "I AM" is clearly a claim to diety” (Puritan Lad)

    Let’s examine that claim much closer. Do you keep the 10 commandments? Is that important to you as a Puritan? Do you also hold to the Trinity? If you answered ‘yes’ then ‘Houston – we have a serious problem’. You break the very first commandment and a teaching Jesus embraced – The Shema.

    “"Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one" (Hebrew: echad or ‘one’)

    Jesus in Mark 12:29 “Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD”

    Now if Jesus believes God is One (the Hebrew here does mean ‘one’ based on context) – how is that Jesus claims deity in Mark? To be honest, Jesus does not claim deity in any of the synoptic gospels (Matt/Mark/Luke) – but that he is the Christ. John is the only gospel that so much as even raises this question with the ‘I am‘ statements – but even this is very problematic.

    John 14:28 "I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I". Interesting when you truly look at the wording. Can God divide Himself up and be greater than…Himself? It looks clear to me Jesus is saying the Father is ‘greater than him’ – and differentiates himself from the Father. I think the Christ came from God but is not God. It’s also rather strange that Jesus as a Jewish person upholding and fulfilling the law (Matt 5:17) would break the very 1st commandment! Something does not add up – no matter how good the orthodox beliefs in Christianity.

    Now we can get into the 100 of cut n paste references used to make the doctrine pliable form that site if you want – but that what they did – they cut n paste from letters and gospels (and the Tanakh) and strung them all together to make their ideas rhyme with reason – I think they are making it all up and take various scriptures right out of context to try to prove their point. Fact is, whoever wrote that is about as honest as someone listening to what they want to hear and calling them facts – have they asked a Jewish person/scholar how this all adds up?

    SocietyVs said...

    "societyvs, I meant to also ask. Are you involved in the emergent church movement?" (Jazzycat)

    Actually, I admire some of their ideas but I am not one of them - no.

    swordbearer said...

    If societyvs denies Christ's ability to atone and holds to Rabbi Singer's statement "Jesus could not die for anyone's sins...", then he is NOT a Christian and should be noted accordingly.

    1 Jn 2:2 "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, ..."

    1 John 4:10 "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

    Rom 3:22ff "...This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood..."

    Seems societyvs not only denies the true gospel but seeks to come up with his own, one which looks to works righteousness rather than the gift and righteousness of God.

    I recommend societyvs study the difference between salvation by grace vs. salvation by works, and establish a relationship with a local Christian pastor to work through these significant issues.

    jazzycat said...

    Societyvs,
    I couldn't help but notice you did not respond to my first comment about the atonement being clearly taught. I don't want to steal Puritan lad's thunder, but I would like to point you to the following Scripture passages on the clear teaching of the atonement of Christ:

    Isaiah 53, Hebrews 9 (actually the entire epistle), Romans 3, Romans 5, Romans 6, Romans 8, John 3:16, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Cor. 15:3, Gal. 1:4 to name a few.

    SocietyVs said...

    “The Bible clearly establishes faith in the atonement of Jesus as the method God has chosen for men to be redeemed to eternal life.” (JazzyCat)

    Actually you mean the NT in this statement – and I am not sure this was the point of the message of Jesus altogether. It’s most definitely the message of almost every denomination – that much I know is true.

    “Do you really find it logical that the creator God of the universe would die on the cross for human salvation and that would be just one of many ways?” (JazzyCat)

    See that’s the ‘crux’ of the debate I am posing – did Jesus atone for all the sins of the world – and what does that mean when we break that statement down? I will point out – the Jewish faith and scriptures forbid human sacrifice – and those scriptures were written by God also.

    “The Bible not only gives no other ways, it denies salvation through false gods of mens' imagination” (JazzyCat)

    Well this is very interesting then – because then isn’t making Jesus a God a person’s possible imagination? God says is clearly in the Torah ‘there are no other Gods but Him’ – not sharing of the title – nothing…but isn’t that what we are doing with the Christ?

    SocietyVs said...

    "I think you have missed the point. Jesus could have just as easily said "My teachings" are the way. He did not. He said "I" am the way... in the SAME way he referenced himself in the seven other "I AM" statements found in John." (Soerdbearer)

    Actually your logic proves my point perfectly. Why didn;t Jesus come out and say 'he was god often and in more than 1 gospel'? Actually nowhere in any gospel does Jesus literally say he is God - we have to infer this from 7 'I am' statements. I think it's easie to just say 'I am God' personally - why the colorful language to show this?

    As for Jesus' teachings being the 'way' well one just need Matt 7:24-29 to see this very clearly - but that is another gospel altogether - so let's stick to John.

    John 14:6 doesn't only contain the idea of the 'way' but also 'truth' and 'life'...3 concepts in one sentence that Jesus refers to himself as (which I don't see as literal but as figurative - as in a teaching in and of itself). I think Jesus is refering to his teachings in each.

    John 14:23-24 are fairly straighforward and from the same chapter: "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words..." (also in vs 15 and 21). 4 Times in this single chapter Jesus refers to 'his words' - or his teachings - as he calls them 'commandments' in vs. 15.

    I would also say the ideas of truth and life fit fairly well with the teachings were representative of.

    Truth - John 3:21, 8:32, 8:45, 17:17, 18:37.

    Life: John 3:36, 6:63, 6:68, 10:10, 12:50, 17:3, 20:31

    But that's just how I have come to see it - and to be honest - John leaves the door wide open to believe in Jesus as the son of God - and as God himself - and then also doesn't in certain passages (making sharp distinctions between God and Jesus). I guess it's all how one wants to intepret the writing of John - that will ultimately decide what one thinks. I also note - there are 3 other gospels outside of this one.

    Puritan Lad said...

    "“There are 3 methods of atonement clearly defined in the Jewish scriptures: the sin sacrifice, repentance, and charity. Moreover, the sin sacrifice (known in the Jewish scriptures as korban chatat) did not atone for all types of sin, but rather, only for man's most insignificant iniquity: unintentional sins.” (Rabbi Tovia Singer"

    societyvs,

    Quoting a Jewish Rabbi on the Torah won't get you any points here. One of the biggest proofs that the Old Covenant sacrifices are insufficient is that Christ did away with them in AD 70. They no longer take place in the New Covenant, because Christ has "...entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption." (Hebrews 9:12)

    Your statement about the Trinity is a straw man, but proves what swordbearer has already suggested, that you are not a Christian. The article I sent you shows the existence of the Trinity in the Old Testament. If you are really serious on the issue, I suggest you read the article and post your objections here. There is only ONE God, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    societyvs, this would be a far more fruitful discussion if you would participate without any pretenses. Those who start out with "I am a Christian, but..." don't do themselves any favors, especially if they deny Christ the glory that is rightfully Him as well as the authority of the New Testament.

    Just what church are you associated with anyway. In any case, it is clear that you do not yet belong to Christ, and my prayer is that you soon will.

    SocietyVs said...

    “but I would like to point you to the following Scripture passages on the clear teaching of the atonement of Christ” (JazzyCat)

    I am going to look through them all – and read what is there…thanks for the passages and time to write that out.

    I will note that the atonement theory as we know it is based on the laws from Leviticus – at least that’s what they claim is being referenced in the dialogue. The Jewish Rabbi does point out the sacrificial system and the shedding of blood from Lev 17 is only for ‘un-intentional sins’…and even certain sins where intentional sins become ‘unintentional’ in nature – ex: someone lies then comes back to hone up to their responsibility. Intentional sins were not covered in the sacrificial system from Lev.

    Heb 9:7 “which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.” Unintentional sins only – as in line with what the rabbi has said.

    As per the atonement – I will have to look deeper into the issue – some good points have been raised here on an issue I have not studied for some time. I am aware of the Jewish statement of their being 3 ways to atone for sins (posted earlier) – and this progressed with the times – from Law – to the writings – until the prophets came. The system changes over time and this is stated. However, Jesus may very well be a throw-back to the original Torah and even fulfilling the prophets atonements also – including repentance and charity as the parts of his teachings (which we know is true).

    I would state simply that Jesus only asks for repentance as part of the personal atonement action we can take. I am willing to concede (and even look into) the idea Jesus fulfilled the Torah version of atonement – once and for all (not to happen yearly according to Hebrews). I am not well studied and this area and have always accepted the atonement as a single act – however – it does seem it is more than just the Torah – it does include the other 2 views of atonement…at least I am willing to look into that. Namely because of this line:

    “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt 4:17) – Very well his first words in that gospel.

    All this study is starting to put the idea of repentance into the right fit for me theologically – knowing both the Jewish aspect of this idea and that maybe this is our part in the atonement – and Jesus did his part.

    I say keep it coming – this pushing me to new understandings is really helping me!

    swordbearer said...

    "I will point out – the Jewish faith and scriptures forbid human sacrifice – and those scriptures were written by God also." (societyvs)

    There's a reason the O.T. looks down on "human" sacrifice...
    Consider what Jesus taught in Hebrews 10 "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, BUT a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am -it is written about me in the scroll-I have come to do your will, O God. ' First he said, 'Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them' (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, 'Here I am, I have come to do your will.' He sets aside the first to establish the secome. And BY THAT WILL, we have been maded holy THREOUGH THE SACRIFICE OF THE BODY OF JESUS once for all."

    The point is this, no other "human sacrifice" was acceptible, for as the prophet writes "Even our best works are like filthy rags before God." However, that is NOT the case with Jesus, who being both human and divine, did not possess a sinful nature, and lived fully to do the will of God, so much so that he fully kept God's requirement of righteousness (his being and acts not even being tainted with sin in the least). Hence, it is by God's will (he being the one who has been wronged, as well as the mercy giver, and the one who decides what he will accept in the way leading toward reconciliation) that has both set Christ apart as the only means of salvation and redemption as well as our only hope of salvation.

    These same verses explain why man's works will not suffice, but only the atonement that comes through Christ. This is why you must put your hope in him, and not in your own works, however good they might appear to you, for God has appointed only one mediator and Savior of man and that is found not in us, but in Christ.

    SocietyVs said...

    “If societyvs denies Christ's ability to atone and holds to Rabbi Singer's statement "Jesus could not die for anyone's sins...", then he is NOT a Christian and should be noted accordingly.” (Swordbearer)

    I agree with Swordbearer – note it.

    “Seems societyvs not only denies the true gospel but seeks to come up with his own, one which looks to works righteousness rather than the gift and righteousness of God.” (Swordbearer)

    Interesting you should mention this – in fact – I am studying the roots of the atonement idea – anyone else doing this – in fact yes? I am looking at what the Jewish rabbi said about the 3 aspects of atonement in the torah and prophets and how Jesus says ‘he will fulfill the Torah and Prophets’…and then looking at the idea with more depth. Maybe I am working through this idea and the discussion is very helpful – where I stand at the atonement I am not sure at this point but it goes like this:

    (a) Jewish atonement – 3 aspects (Torah (Blood), Repentance, and Charity)
    (b) Christian aspect actually respects all 3 of these ideas – but holds up one as the only atonement that matters
    (c) Jesus mention each idea in all gospels – repentance, charity (we also see this in Acts community), and sacrifice
    (d) Maybe Jesus fulfills the blood atonement (from Hebrews) once and for all – not to happen yearly now – all are cleared
    (e) However, all may be cleared but we still have our parts in the good news – repentance and charity.

    I might be wrong on this – but – it does line up better with Jewish theology and ideas as they would’ve presented them – since we know Jewish people wrote these gospels and letters (or are we going to debate that too).

    I would say call me whatever you need to call me – but I am being honest with what I study and look into – and that’s my personal journey. If you think I am not a Christ-ian – so be it – I am not going to concern myself with these calls on my life.

    SocietyVs said...

    Heb 10:5 “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE “

    Based on

    Psalm 40:6 “Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required”

    Is the bible without an error now? The writer in Hebrews freely changes the passage from Psalm 40 to fit his context about a ‘body’. Problem here is, Psalm 40 actually points out the Jewish atonement idea about repentance vs sacrifice (sacrifice not being required in this passage). The writer in Hebrews changes the original wording and makes it seem about Jesus and his sacrifice – which are not even so much as hinted in the original Hebrew in Psalms 40 and has been doctored to mean something else than the original passage. Check it out – I ain’t lying – also pointed out by Rabbi Singer in his writings and I must say – he makes a good point.

    “These same verses explain why man's works will not suffice, but only the atonement that comes through Christ.” (Swordbearer)

    I actually do get what you are saying and I think that act of Christ – fulfilling the Torah atonement is accurate – and is once for all (I mean isn’t this what Hebrews also says?). “So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many…” (Heb 9:28). Jesus is not re-offered year after year – but that one time – fulfilling the Torah atonement. However, repentance and charity would still fall upon us as our actions in the process – the sacrifice system is ‘finished’ (done) – what isn’t finished is the other 2 – we do have some obligation to deal with our actions and dealing with that before God – a way Jesus paved for the Gentile to God. How do we do this? This is where the teachings come in – what is it that God requires of us? We read the teachings and find out and change as necessary.

    swordbearer said...

    1. " Jewish atonement – 3 aspects (Torah (Blood), Repentance, and Charity)" (Societyvs)

    So, what blood is associated with the atonement you are looking to?
    An animals?

    2. "Maybe Jesus fulfills the blood atonement (from Hebrews) once and for all – not to happen yearly now – all are cleared
    (e) However, all may be cleared but we still have our parts in the good news – repentance and charity." (societyvs)

    "For it is by GRACE you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH, and this NOT from YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT of God, NOT BY WORKS..." (Eph 2:8-9)

    SocietyVs said...

    “Quoting a Jewish Rabbi on the Torah won't get you any points here” (Puritan Lad)

    That’s too bad – he knows what he is talking about with concern to the Torah and Prophets – he studies them all the time. However, we need to start considering this ‘straw man’ – Jewish people not writing the gospels and letters and not using the rabbinical ideas of yesteryear. You guys are aware Jewish writers wrote these books and letters right? How is it you do not study the Jewish teachings on Torah and Prophets – knowing this much?

    “proves what swordbearer has already suggested, that you are not a Christian” (Puritan Lad)

    Apparently this has been noted. However, for your sake you write me off so as to not deal with the claims…that’s quite alright – but I’ll state for the record – I follow Jesus teachings and neither you nor Swordbearer can judge this since you neither have contact with me nor know me personally. So say what you need to but it still doesn’t make it legit.

    “Just what church are you associated with anyway. In any case, it is clear that you do not yet belong to Christ” (Puritan Lad)

    Deal with the points made Puritan and let’s learn together – or have you outgrown this concept? Calling my faith into your court does not make a valid judgment of it…it just means you are clearly jumping the gun and not answering the questions at hand – and thereby eschewing the learning being done…but whatever.

    “The article I sent you shows the existence of the Trinity in the Old Testament” (Puritan)

    Actually, I am asking rabbi’s and others in the Jewish community who actually study the Hebrew and have dedicated themselves to studying the whole of the Tanakh – and they say there is no proof of a Trinity…I have to think they are right on this – they dedicate their lives to those teachings. I have not set up a ‘straw man’ whatsoever – I have claimed the Tanakh does not mention a Trinity and I am very sure of this – even the NT never uses the actual word. I don’t see why not addressing the idea Jesus may not be God is problematic – he was the Messiah/Christ sent from God.

    Puritan Lad said...

    societycs,

    Your research leaves much to be desired. The Hebrews passage you quoted was not "changed" in it's "original wording and makes it seem about Jesus and his sacrifice". Instead, it is a quote from Psalms as given in the Septuagint. Clarke comments:

    "The quotation in this and the two following verses is taken from Psalm 40, 6th, 7th, and 8th verses, as they stand now in the Septuagint, with scarcely any variety of reading; but, although the general meaning is the same, they are widely different in verbal expression in the Hebrew. David’s words are, אזנים כרית לי oznayim caritha li, which we translate, My ears hast thou opened; but they might be more properly rendered, My ears hast thou bored, that is, thou hast made me thy servant for ever, to dwell in thine own house; for the allusion is evidently to the custom mentioned, Exo_21:2, etc.: “If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve, and in the seventh he shall go out free; but if the servant shall positively say, I love my master, etc., I will not go out free, then his master shall bring him to the door post, and shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.” But how is it possible that the Septuagint and the apostle should take a meaning so totally different from the sense of the Hebrew? Dr. Kennicott has a very ingenious conjecture here: he supposes that the Septuagint and apostle express the meaning of the words as they stood in the copy from which the Greek translation was made; and that the present Hebrew text is corrupted in the word אזנים oznayim, ears, which has been written through carelessness for אז גוה az gevah, Then a Body. The first syllable אז, Then, is the same in both; and the latter נים, which joined to אז, makes אזנים oznayim, might have been easily mistaken for גוה gevah, Body; נ nun, being very like ג gimel; י yod, like ו vau; and ה he, like final ם mem; especially if the line on which the letters were written in the MS. happened to be blacker than ordinary, which has often been a cause of mistake, it might have been easily taken for the under stroke of the mem, and thus give rise to a corrupt reading: add to this the root כרה carah, signifies as well to prepare as to open, bore, etc. On this supposition the ancient copy, translated by the Septuagint, and followed by the apostle, must have read the text thus: אז גוה כרית לי az gevah caritha li, σωμα δε κατηρτισω μοι, then a body thou hast prepared me: thus the Hebrew text, the version of the Septuagint, and the apostle, will agree in what is known to be an indisputable fact in Christianity, namely, that Christ was incarnated for the sin of the world."

    Talk to me about Daniel 9:24-27. Did that come true or not?

    swordbearer said...

    societyvs,

    I think a few things may be helpful to you:

    1. An illustration - My son, when he was small, asked me to tie his shoe but then would not let me. He wanted to do it himself, though he could not do it. I let him try until he finally looked up and said "Father, will you tie my shoe" (i.e., Will you do for me what I cannot do for myself?) This is a picture of the salvation that comes through Christ. We must come to recognize that we cannot meet the goal ourselves (the standard of God's righteousness) and we must look to the Father (our heavenly one) to do for us and to provide for us that which we cannot do/provide for ourselves. (Meet the standard of God's righteousness - thru Christ, who is the gift of God for the salvation of sinners.)

    2. Consider the powerful words of Paul in Philippians 3:7ff (and think about where one should put their hopes - in their own works, in their own works plus Christ, or in Christ) Paul writes "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christi Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consier them rubbish, that I MAY BE FOUND IN HIM, NOT HAVING A RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MY OWN THAT COMES FROM THE LAW, BUT THAT WHICH IS THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST - the righeousness that comes FROM GOD and is BY FAITH."

    3. Seems that while studying Jewish beliefs and practices can be helpful (on one level), it seems you need to look to Christ and his teachings (even as found among the apostles) and read the O.T. (and evaluate Jewish teachings) in light of these, rather than the other way around. Think about it, while some Jews have come to know salvation in Christ, many have missed and deny the Messiah, ... why would base and begin your thinking with them, especially those who profess the need for animal sacrifice, and yet are not performing them (and have not for years)?

    Christ himself says the Law and the Prophets both point to him. In fact, he criticises those who claimed Moses but did see that Moses pointed to him. As Christ shows, the entire Old Testament fits well (perfectly) with the truth of Christ and his kingdom when one understands it properly. While it's true that one can begin with the O.T. and arrive at Christ, perhaps since you are struggling going in that direction (and it's not making sense), perhaps it may be more beneficial for you to begin with Christ (and the O.T. revealed) and then work back to the O.T. (or the N.T. concealed) and see how it fits like a glove! In either case, what you will find is that even animal sacrice alone was not acceptable, but only as it pointed to Christ, who is the fulfillment of the earlier types, and the one in whom alone is found live and salvation.

    SocietyVs said...

    “"For it is by GRACE you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH, and this NOT from YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT of God, NOT BY WORKS..." (Eph 2:8-9)”

    Salvation comes from faith – so all that is required is to say you have faith? A confession maybe? Even if we drag this out into a full definition we will still arrive at where I am at – you still need to commit to repentance and charity – basically you need to make a commitment to the teachings of Christ.

    Gift or not – I am the one being called a ‘non Christian’ in this convo – and for what exactly – not because I did not accept the ‘gift’ but because it seems like I do not adhere to reform theology or whatever it is you believe. So basically, I am being called ‘non Christian’ based on what I am saying here – but if that sentence above is true – you have no right to question my faith (self admitted by me) – since it is by grace and not by works (or even what one believes and says). So how is it Swordbearer and Puritan Lad you can call me a ‘non-Christian’ – are judging by the grace or by my works?

    In the end, the sentence will lead you back to our responsibility – following the teachings and our responsibility or repentance and charity (love). I mean – Jesus died for us all and we have all been cleared by the sacrifice (for our ignorance) – but now we are no longer ignorant and know what we need to do with these ideas – and that is live by them, in them, and through them.

    Puritan Lad said...

    SocietyVs,

    Do you follow the teachings of Jesus (as you previously claimed), or of Judaist, whom Jesus equated with blind leaders of the blind (Matthew 15:14) and of their father the Devil (John 8:39-44)? If you want to debate the authority of the New Testament, so be it. But one cannot reject the New Testament and be a Christian, nor can one beleive in many paths to God and be a Christian.

    If this rabbi is so knowledgable about the Torah, why is he so wrong about the Messiah? Does he know more than Paul? Who is the Messiah? If it be Christ, why reject His teachings?

    SocietyVs said...

    Puritan - you actually belive that comment about the Hebrews making a mistake and not the Christian copyists? If so, then not every 'hot and tittle' will remain I guess. However, if pressed on this issue - I don't think the Hebrew writers have that passage wrong but rather the Septuagint - from Hebrew to Greek - that makes more sense. Also in Psalm 40 - which translation works better and makes more sense? Check it out.

    I personally think the quote is flawed and argues from the standpoint of assuming the interpretation has to be what is in Hebrews and not what is in Psalms - either way - one of the passages in the bible contains an 'error' oddly enough.

    I will check into the Daniel thing when I get a chance - I am not trying to forget it - I just don't have time for about an hour or so.

    Good interesting convo guys!

    swordbearer said...

    Concerning the TRINITY, societyvs wrote "Actually, I am asking rabbi’s and others in the Jewish community who actually study the Hebrew and have dedicated themselves to studying the whole of the Tanakh – and they say there is no proof of a Trinity…I have to think they are right on this – they dedicate their lives to those teachings. I have not set up a ‘straw man’ whatsoever..."

    I would quote the Hebrew for Genesis 1:26 for you but from what you have written, you probably would not understand it. An English equivalent would be "then...said God let US make man in OUR image after OUR likeness..." The word "us" is a Qal imperfect 1st person PLURAL. Likewise the words for "our" are Qal imperfects 3rd person masculine PLURAL. How do your rabbi's interpret these?

    How about the theophanies, the Son passages, the attributes assigned to the Messiah, etc.? The list could go on. Seems while trying to claim some measure of intellectual superiority (even if just in the method) you are missing the truth because you're looking to those who do themselves do not know the truth.

    Have you read the gospels?

    SocietyVs said...

    "Do you follow the teachings of Jesus (as you previously claimed), or of Judaist, whom Jesus equated with blind leaders of the blind (Matthew 15:14) and of their father the Devil (John 8:39-44)?" (Puritan)

    I will ask you once - do you truly believe what you have written here - about Jewish people?

    Secondly, I am going back to the very culture that Jesus was both born and raised in - and then taught from (Torah and Prophets). I see no problem with doing that and learning at their feet the things about their faith I no little about in way of interpretation. I want to be honest towards God the Father and the best way I can do that is respect His teachings by learning from those who study them - including Jewish Rabbi's.

    "But one cannot reject the New Testament and be a Christian, nor can one beleive in many paths to God and be a Christian." (Puritan)

    I do not reject the NT - never said I will or ever have. I don't think the way to God is so small it can be contained in some salvation calculation - maybe that's why there is 66 books huh? But if pressed - the way to God is via the teachings of Christ - and for those who do not hear them - the true essence of those teachings is simple 'treat others how you want to be treated' (this both pleases God and sums up all the Torah and Prophets- fulfills them if you will).

    "If this rabbi is..." (Puritan)

    You go and ask him - don't ask me about someone else.

    Puritan Lad said...

    "I will ask you once - do you truly believe what you have written here - about Jewish people?"
    Nice try societyvs, but I've been around and can very quickly recognize race-baiting. I really don't appreciate it, as it shows a refusal to deal honestly with claims of truth, not to mention an attempt to smear me. I said absolutely nothing "about Jewish people" and you know it. We are dealing with false religions, not people's ethnic backgrounds. Please stay focused without trying dirty liberal smear tactics

    Now to answer your question directly (as it should have been asked). For those who practice the Jewish religion, "yes". Judiasm (as well as anyh religion that is not Christianity) is a false demonically inspired religion. Jesus (whom you claim to admire) said so, and that is good enough for me. What ye think of Christ now? He's quite a bit different than the one that you and Deepak Chopra made up in your imaginations. He was not tolerant of false religion, and neither should his disciples be.

    The reason that we reject the rabbinical teachings of the Torah is because Judaism is a false religion. It is a religion of failed prophecies concerning the Messiah. What else needs to be said about that? The problem with those who hold to the rabbinical teachings of the Torah is that they cannot produce the material evidence of their own Messianic Prophecies. They are left trying to please a holy and perfect God with their own imperfections, an impossible task. You mentioned three forms of atonement, yet even the Torah only mentions one, the shedding of blood. Repentance and Charity are great gifts, but are NOT atonement for sins.

    However, you claim to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, which is why I addressed your own faith. I only brought it up because it does matter, but you don’t have to answer if you do not want to. I guess a non-answer is easier than giving an answer and having to defend it. But you are clearly not a Christian, and not really a Judaist either.

    Let me ask you, since Judaists were wrong about Messiah (which you have somewhat acknowledged), why trust them on the Psalms (or any other prophetic interpretations)?

    Christ warned that those Jews who rejected Him would be destroyed, along with the temple, within that generation (Matthew 24:34). The fulfillment of that prophecy ended forever the Old Covenant form of Judaism. In it’s place came two belief systems, a newer for of Judaism devoid of any high priest, temple, or sacrifices, and Christianity, the rightful heir of all three.

    Christ Himself claimed to be the Messiah, and to be God (as I have shown in my article). If you reject Him as the Messiah, then you have no atonement for your sins, as your rabbi friend has done. If you accept His claims to be Messiah, as you apparently do, then why reject His claims of Divinity and as being the ONLY way to the Father?

    By the way, you made reference to “tanzih”. Are you a Muslim? Would you like to discuss “tanzih”?

    swordbearer said...

    “Salvation comes from faith – so all that is required is to say you have faith? A confession maybe? Even if we drag this out into a full definition we will still arrive at where I am at – you still need to commit to repentance and charity – basically you need to make a commitment to the teachings of Christ." (Societyvs)

    Repentance and charity are "fruits" not the "root" of faith.

    Note in Acts 2, the people were "cut to the heart" with the teaching concerning the Lord. Here is belief first, after which is found the response of faith which includes things like baptism, etc.

    In the same way, in Eph 2, we find that Paul speaks of "works" in verse 10, only after he speaks of the grace and salvation in verses 8-9. The works do not lead to or result in salvation, but are the fruits and effects of salvation.

    Often, men try to substitute "man's gift (or commitment) to Christ" for "Christ's gift to man. In this light, Christianity is not so much about man himself making the right decision as much as God working in man to believe what God himself has first done for man. Remember what the Scripture teaches, "This is love, NOT that WE LOVED GOD, but that HE LOVED US and SENT HIS SON as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

    In failing to distinguish between these, many often claim to be Christians, while trying to merit some form of righteousness (thru charity and works before God) ... AS IF Christ came to die for the GODLY; but that is not what Scripture says, it says "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the UNGODLY." (Rom 5:6) societyvs, you are still trying to merit or prove some measure of righteousness before God...while the truth is God sent Christ to die even for the UNGODLY... who HE saves (through washing and cleanses) and then works through for the sake of his own glory!

    Regarding your own works, Dr. D. James Kennedy used to give the illustration, if someone were making an omelette and put several good eggs in it but then had a bad one and put it in and mixed it in as well and presented it to you, would YOU accept it? In the same way, God does not accept even our best works (which are impure before him). Only CHRIST is acceptable to Him. Think of the times God himself says "This is my Son, in whom I am WELL PLEASED." Trust not in your own works, but BELIEVE on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (the Son of God, and only Savior of Sinners) and you will be saved!

    SocietyVs said...

    “Talk to me about Daniel 9:24-27. Did that come true or not?” (Puritan)

    To be perfectly honest – I am not sure.

    69 weeks of re-building Jerusalem
    7 weeks the Messiah/Prince will be there
    1 Week of a Prince of desolation (comes after the first prince)

    Is that fulfilled – you tell me? If we go by weeks in this passage – then yes.

    “We are dealing with false religions, not people's ethnic backgrounds. Please stay focused without trying dirty liberal smear tactics” (Puritan)

    Here is your exact quote – “or of Judaist, whom Jesus equated with blind leaders of the blind (Matthew 15:14) and of their father the Devil”. If I am the only one that thinks this is a little over the line – sorry – but I know if I let a ‘Judaist’ read that they would be offended – namely if they read the quotes and did not find that term in the exact passage. And some of those ‘Judaists’ are my friends.

    “For those who practice the Jewish religion, "yes". Judaism (as well as any religion that is not Christianity) is a false demonically inspired religion” (Puritan)

    If you want to believe that – have at it – I am not sure where in the world you are pulling this from – except from one loose quote in John – which you also take out of context as to why Jesus would say that.

    “He was not tolerant of false religion, and neither should his disciples be.” (Puritan)

    And what part of him healing Samaritans and Romans was not understandable to you? Rome was indeed in religious cults and the Samaritans were not Jews – so they could hold any religious beliefs – but Jesus still met with them and helped them. He seemed pretty tolerant to me in those instances and more…his teachings are about tolerance (ie: mercy and not judgment).

    “The reason that we reject the rabbinical teachings of the Torah is because Judaism is a false religion. It is a religion of failed prophecies concerning the Messiah. What else needs to be said about that? The problem with those who hold to the rabbinical teachings of the Torah is that they cannot produce the material evidence of their own Messianic Prophecies. They are left trying to please a holy and perfect God with their own imperfections, an impossible task. You mentioned three forms of atonement, yet even the Torah only mentions one, the shedding of blood. Repentance and Charity are great gifts, but are NOT atonement for sins.” (Puritan)

    Is this what you think? Did Jesus think this also? I have a very tough time finding that proof – considering one simple passage Matt 5:17-20. Your statements are laughable and without actual proof – and if they are true – explain the Matthew portion?

    The 3 methods of atonement come straight from within Judaism – I ain’t making that up. And you can say they are not ‘atonement’ for sins – but who cares – this is a Jewish idea and is their line of reasoning from the prophets of God (prophets we also admire) and it is their belief from Torah and the Prophets (yes – there is 3 methods).

    “(1) The sin sacrifice, (2) repentance and (3) charity” (Rabbi Singer)

    (1) Leviticus 4:1-35
    (2) Deuteronomy 4:26-31; I Kings 8:46-50; Isaiah 55:6-9; Jeremiah 7:3-23; Ezekiel 18:1-23; Hosea 6:6; 14:2-3; Micah 6:6; Psalm 40:7-9 (6-8); 51:16-19
    (3) Proverbs 10:2; 11:4; 16:6; Daniel 4:24; II Chronicles 6:36-39

    This is from Singer’s site and his reasoning – if you don’t like it – take it up with this studious rabbi and the Jewish Conservative community – for this is a belief they ‘do hold’ and base it in biblical teachings from God.

    But that’s the problem with sharing the same scriptures – someone actually may know portions of ours much better than us – namely the community it started in and who studied it intensively (for 1000’s of years).

    “But you are clearly not a Christian, and not really a Judaist either.” (Puritan)

    Explain to me why this is important to you?

    “Let me ask you, since Judaists were wrong about Messiah (which you have somewhat acknowledged), why trust them on the Psalms (or any other prophetic interpretations)?” (Puritan)

    I read their take on this passage – they do a great job on it and I think they would know – they study their passages – and in context – well…check it out:

    (v.5-6)
    Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
    And Your thoughts toward us;
    There is none to compare with You
    If I would declare and speak of them,
    They would be too numerous to count.
    Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
    My ears You have opened;
    Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

    David is writing a Psalm and in vs. 5 we see how God is very insurmountable in knowing about- in vs. 6 David says simply ‘you opened my ears’…so he could hear and write some of it. Now you tell me, in context, how a ‘body you have prepared for me’ even fits in the context of that Psalm? I think the Psalm 40 version is accurate and makes sense.

    “If you reject Him as the Messiah, then you have no atonement for your sins, as your rabbi friend has done. If you accept His claims to be Messiah, as you apparently do, then why reject His claims of Divinity and as being the ONLY way to the Father?” (Puritan)

    I accept him as the messiah – always have. As for the atonement part – well Christ died once for all – not many times for many people – Christ does not die and die again for each confession made – that is ‘finished’ – so that sacrifice does not have to be done again – correct? Irregardless of my confession Christ still died – yes? How can you say I have no atonement for my ignorance – that path is paved by that death – even for me – a Gentile. Now it is on me to take responsibility for my actions (repentance) and how I treat others (charity).

    As for the divinity of Jesus – I am not worried. If he is God – I follow his teachings anyways – if He is not God – I am not breaking the 1st commandment (There is only One God). To be perfectly honest, most of the disciples outside of the 3 synoptic gospels neither make this claim about Jesus’ divinity – but mainly his special position as Messiah(Jewish term)/Christ (Greek term). It’s rather funny that you guys bash pluralism yet hold to a form of it in the Trinity – irony?

    SocietyVs said...

    “Repentance and charity are "fruits" not the "root" of faith.” (Swordbearer)

    Someone better tell that to Matthew then – Matthew’s first words from Jesus as a teaching for the masses was simply:

    “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Jesus – Matt 5:17 and John the Baptist’s – Matt 3:2 - first words)

    Jesus seems to be telling people ‘repent’ is the first thing to do to follow him – and first thing John requests of everyone in following God (exact same message). Repentance is given a fairly weighty position if you ask me.

    Matthew 22:36-40 (charity – love)
    "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' "This is the great and foremost commandment.
    "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets’
    Matthew 25: 34-36 (Charity)
    Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
    'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
    We can see – for some odd reason beyond any reason – God accepts people that are charitable and loving (sharing even). Nowhere in these gospels until the very end is the atonement even mentioned – at that we have discussed in depth – but we are still required to do something or we can lose our place in the kingdom.
    Heck, even Puritan is saying not believing in the Messiah one is subject to not atonement – but what he is really saying there is ‘what you do’ matters. Believing something is a type of action in Puritan’s wording (a verb). I find it hypocritical you guys can push on idea about faith and then hold another about losing that salvation based on ‘actions’. It’s not one or the others obviously. Even Paul in his letters admits this – even after he talks about how people are saved by faith – apparently they condemned by their actions. And I am not pulling one over your eyes – check it out in Paul’s letters when he tells people they will not inherit the kingdom of heaven – apparently it is based on ‘what they do’ (ie: namely being immoral in some way or form). He is telling this to a Christian community all the time in his letters.

    As for ‘belief’ we need to better define the term – it seems in current society we are using this term for theology now and not what someone does. I think the biblical writer’s talk about belief in this manner: what you do proves what you believe. The writer’s seem to use ‘believe (in)’ to mean an action that someone will commit – and this is tough to grasp.
    For example – someone says they believe in God. Okay – what does that even mean? It is very vague don’t you think? And this is a common belief right now – and many of those people say this but do not act like they believe it (ie: they hurt another person for fun or something). I think we all will agree – ‘well they don’t believe in God then’. But that’s the problem – one can claim belief but not act accordingly…because in our countries we confuse what belief really means.
    For example – one can believe Jesus is the Christ. Okay, what does this belief do? That belief is different than saying I believe it when Jesus said ‘treat others how you want to be treated’. The true problem is theology is not an action. And this is where confusion truly begins and runs rampant. If I believe in Jesus – I will act like Jesus – this is what the writer’s are getting at. To simply confess that is not faith – that’s mere word play. That Matthew 25 example I have shows this and so does the Matthew parable about the sand and rock – concerning following the teachings – this is the essence of the term ‘belief’ in the gospels (see below).
    “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
    "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand."The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."

    Puritan Lad said...

    societyvs,

    You are all over the place, but are not dealing with any specific points I addressed.

    1.) You acknowledged that I refered to "Judaists", those who practice the false religion of Judaism. That's a far cry from talking "about Jewish people" as a race, which you tried to imply. Trust me, as a preterist, I get that same treatment from dispensationalists all the time. It's an old ploy. Discredit the messenger, and then your can simply write off his arguments.

    2.) No one every suggested that we should not help, befriend, or "tolerate" a person of false religious beliefs. This does not, however, mean that tolerate their beliefs. Jesus never tolerated sin or false religion, but rather rebuked and redeemed them. (You asked if I had ever read the gospels. I have. Have you??? I have to wonder.)

    As I pointed out in the last thread with Dank, your "tolerance" is a farce. You are quite "intolerant" of orthodox Christianity, just as he was. Just like him, you want to assume that your worldview is correct, and then label anyone who disagrees with you as "intolerant". It's a ploy that no one here buys.

    You ask how I can suggest that Christ did not pay for the sin of ignorance. That, I never suggested. However, those who know the true Christ may only obtain that knowledge from the Father, just as Peter did.

    "Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 16:16-17)

    This is a supernatural knowledge that God has blessed His elect with. When it comes to those who are redeemed, they are not ignorant about the identity of Christ. This is a knowledge that Oprah lacks, and apparently you do as well. My prayer is that your will obtain such saving knowledge. My debate can only deal with your head. Only God and change the heart.

    SocietyVs said...

    Gen 1:26 “How do your rabbi's interpret these?” (Swordbearer)

    “The answer to this question is simple. If you search the Bible you will find that when the Almighty speaks of “us” or “our,” He is addressing His ministering angels. In fact, only two chapters later, God continues to use the pronoun “us” as He speaks with His angels. At the end of the third chapter of Genesis the Almighty relates to His angels that Adam and his wife have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and must therefore be prevented from eating from the Tree of Life as well; for if man would gain access to the Tree of Life he will “become like one of us.” The Creator then instructs his angels known as Cherubim to stand at the gate of the Garden of Eden waving a flaming sword so that mankind is prevented from entering the Garden and eating from the Tree of Life” (Rabbi Singer)

    It is true these words are plural but is there another explanation:

    “The plural “We” was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Trinity; modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis . . . No other explanation is left, therefore, than to regard it as pluralis majestatis” (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the OT – 10 volume set).

    Not even all Christians take that passage as indicative if the Trinity…just thought that should also be noted – including Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Liberty Annotated Study Bible, and the NIV Study Bible. Each of those bibles also note this ‘heavenly court’ or ‘Plurals of majesty’ idea.

    “Seems while trying to claim some measure of intellectual superiority (even if just in the method) you are missing the truth because you're looking to those who do themselves do not know the truth.” (Swordbearer)

    You’re making a huge assumption also in saying ‘they do not know the truth’…how do you know – have you read their rabbinical commentaries? I state to you and Puritan the amount of study it takes to be a rabbi and it gets brushed aside – heck they study as much (or more) than most seminarians (7 years) and then devote themselves to in depth study of the passages and Hebrew – and this can be brushed aside on the basis of an assumption? I would say they devote 10 times as much time to the Torah and Prophets than any Christian pastor we can find.

    I am not claiming intellectual superiority in my claims but stated clearly ‘this is a learning process’ for me – and that’s exactly what it is. The atonement idea was all but brushed aside by me until I read Jazzy Cats passages and thought ‘I am throwing out the bay with the bath water’ here…I admit I can make mistakes – but that’s the pattern of learning also.

    “Have you read the gospels?” (Swordbearer)

    I have – and still do – as is referenced in my comments. I live my life by the teachings of the gospels – namely that of Matthew – and I try to learn and elaborate from that book. I am very well aware in all my study that I can never dedicate enough time to pull out the gems in that book alone.

    SocietyVs said...

    "Discredit the messenger, and then your can simply write off his arguments...they are not ignorant about the identity of Christ. This is a knowledge that Oprah lacks, and apparently you do as well. My prayer is that your will obtain such saving knowledge" (Puritan)

    Irony for the utmost? If not, you are claiming something that you are definitely doing to me. If you can dis-credit the idea I am a Christian then you can brush aside my thoughts and ideas - which you do - and maybe this is why? Cause I am not - in your eyes - on equal footing with you in faith.

    "you want to assume that your worldview is correct, and then label anyone who disagrees with you as "intolerant"" (Puritan)

    That's not true Puritan - I have called no one 'intolerant' - (except for the Judaic comment) - and even then never called you that. Just because I disagree doesn't make me more right (something else I have not claimed) - but different. I don't agree with orthodoxy and I have all the right to that - the scriptures have lead me there. Maybe I don't see it as you do and I have my reasons - I state them and that's that.

    "My debate can only deal with your head. Only God and change the heart." (Puritan)

    I actually agree. This is all a bunch of talk and hashing things through - in discussion - and to me it is fun.

    However, the claim to snobbery is not coming from my direction at all - in fact - I think I have had my faith called into question in about 5 or 6 comments since I started dialoguing. Why is that? Do you see me calling your faith into question? I have never even so much as hinted at it. If you were me (treat others how you want to be treated) you would see this as rather insulting - but it's not being done to you.

    As for using the Peter comment against me or to prove something - that is not even the intent for the usage of that passage nor is it done in the spirit of sharing/discussion - but accusatory. I don't believe Jesus is the literal 'son of God' - I believe that reveals a close relationship - but it doesn't reveal Jesus as the son of God.

    I do believe the term 'son of God' is also used in Job and about David at one point in the Tanakh - the Judaists don't put them in the God-head. Moses is called God at one point and Pslams even mentions this idea 'you are all gods' - are these people also gods? Fact is, this terminology is thrown around quite a bit and does mean something - but it never means someone is literaly 'God' in the Tanakh.

    I have had it explained to me a few times by someone Jewish. They seem to think it is about someone that is in a place of working with God's laws/teachings in some authority.

    swordbearer said...

    societyvs,

    Do you love God with "all your heart, soul, mind and strength"? Have you ever broken this commandment?

    swordbearer said...

    “The answer to this question is simple. If you search the Bible you will find that when the Almighty speaks of “us” or “our,” He is addressing His ministering angels... (societyvs)

    Response: Your argument is refuted by the author of Genesis, who just after Gen 1:26 goes on in verse 27 to state "So GOD created man in HIS own image, in the image of GOD he created them..." He says nothing about angels, nor does the Bible elsewhere speak of man being created in the image of angels. You're response is both unbiblical and unorthodox.


    It is true these words are plural but is there another explanation:

    "Not even all Christians take that passage as indicative if the Trinity…just thought that should also be noted ..." (societyvs)

    Response: Perhaps if this were the only argument, you could make a case. However, the deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are affirmed in Scripture, divine attributes are assigned to each, each is worthy of worship, the names and roles possessed by each point to their deity, etc. You are looking for "possibilities" in the midst of a credible and conclusive evidence.


    You’re making a huge assumption also in saying ‘they do not know the truth’…how do you know – have you read their rabbinical commentaries? I state to you and Puritan the amount of study it takes to be a rabbi and it gets brushed aside – heck they study as much (or more) than most seminarians (7 years) and then devote themselves to in depth study of the passages and Hebrew – and this can be brushed aside on the basis of an assumption?" (Societyvs)

    Response: Let me suggest to you I have studied as much (or more) than most seminarians...and yet I can tell you that it's not the amount of study, but the quality and results of the education and study that matters. On top of that, Puritan can clearly laid the obvious and irrefutable before you, when he stated "Christ warned that those Jews who rejected Him would be destroyed, along with the temple, within that generation (Matthew 24:34). The fulfillment of that prophecy ended forever the Old Covenant form of Judaism. In it’s place came two belief systems, a newer form of Judaism devoid of any high priest, temple, or sacrifices, and Christianity, the rightful heir of all three.

    "I am not claiming intellectual superiority in my claims but stated clearly ‘this is a learning process’ for me – and that’s exactly what it is." (societyvs)

    Response: Sounds legitimate and sincere on one level, but the truth is you reject the clear teaching of Scripture concerning the deity and atonement of Christ. It's as if you want to claim you hold to Christ and his teachings while embracing the teaching of those who deny and oppose him. I have no problem with you "learning", but to call yourself a Christian while denying the basic beliefs and historically recognized foundations of Christianity is not only deceptive but false.

    "The atonement idea was all but brushed aside by me until I read Jazzy Cats passages and thought ‘I am throwing out the bay with the bath water’ here…I admit I can make mistakes – but that’s the pattern of learning also." (societyvs)

    Response: You can learn alot from jazzycat. I encourage you to look more at the issue of the atonement.

    "I live my life by the teachings of the gospels – namely that of Matthew – and I try to learn and elaborate from that book." (societyvs)

    Response: Note in chapter 26, Jesus is accused of blaphemy...what do think is meant by the high priest when he asked Jesus if he was the "Son of God"?

    SocietyVs said...

    “So GOD created man in HIS own image, in the image of GOD he created them”

    I am not sure what this actually proves – it’s the same idea as the sentence before it – same idea – plural speech. This could also be a writer’s perspective while writing – speaking of God from his own perspective as a reader/writer. If I said that sentence to you just out of the blue – you would not think I am talking about God’s (plural) – you would only hear One God – or I would say ‘God’s created them in their image’. Also worth noting is…is God female also? It says he created ‘them’ in His image.

    “You're response is both unbiblical and unorthodox.” (Sword)

    Not really – then again I am not aiming at orthodoxy.

    “each is worthy of worship” (Sword)

    Do you worship the Spirit of God or in the Spirit of God? Just a question – each time I hear they are equal as God – very few actually live up to that claim (Usually confused about worship and do so in the name of Jesus and God the Father only).

    “The fulfillment of that prophecy ended forever the Old Covenant form of Judaism” (Sword)

    Is that an assumption or a fact? According to Jewish rabbi’s this old testament covenant ended long before AD 70…and that is their claim – thus the scriptures a 3 atonement system. However, if you want that to be true – then I think the claim should be outright in the passage stated.

    “but to call yourself a Christian while denying the basic beliefs and historically recognized foundations of Christianity is not only deceptive but false” (Sword)

    Do you read anything I write or just ignore it all? I have not cast aside atonement nor have I rejected Jesus as the Messiah. It is a fact I do question orthodox beliefs about the Trinity – but then they should of removed all the passages that separate God and Jesus. And to use the saying ‘son of God’ alone is not the best proof.

    “Note in chapter 26, Jesus is accused of blasphemy...what do think is meant by the high priest when he asked Jesus if he was the "Son of God"?” (Sword)

    That’s a good point – it’s almost as if the Jewish nation believed the Messiah would be the literal ‘son of God’ huh? This is not true. What the priest has a problem with there is the Messiahship of Jesus and this placement that puts him so close to God. Now I could be wrong – maybe the Jewish nation thought the Messiah was the literal ‘son of God’ – but if this is so – then let’s go about the venture of proving that.

    swordbearer said...

    societyvs,

    As has repeatedly been demonstrated, you go to great lengths to reject the Word of God to include Christ himself. Know that those who do so risk being rejected by God.

    You should learn from the example of Elymas in Acts 13 and quit perverting the right ways of the Lord before you too are given over.

    jazzycat said...

    Societyvs,
    You mentioned the passages on atonement that I listed. Here is a passage and my commentary from a series I did on the "Good News" devotional at my site:

    Romans 3:22b-25A For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

    Paul makes clear that salvation comes by grace that God gives as a free gift. This gift is bought and paid for by the redemption that Christ Jesus secured on the cross of Calvary. God satisfied his righteous wrath by making his own son, who had no sin, pay the penalty for the sins of the redeemed. Just as God had done in the garden by providing covering for Adam and Eve, he covered the sins of his people by providing a blood sacrifice. God will not allow His character to be violated and so sin has to be punished. Thank God that his amazing grace provided a lamb without blemish to pay the debt that sinners cannot pay. Jesus paid it all and, through faith in His atonement, the blood of the Lamb redeems sinners.

    Sin, God, wrath, penalty, Jesus Christ, atonement, redemption, justification, propitiation, grace, faith, gift, eternal life…… When the dots of all these doctrines are connected, it is clear that Jesus Christ saves sinners that believe and have faith that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for their sins.

    SocietyVs said...

    “As has repeatedly been demonstrated, you go to great lengths to reject the Word of God” (Sword)

    This statement is not based in fact – but supposition. I go to great lengths to argue from the very same scriptures you also do – how is it I am accused of rejecting the ‘word of God’? I question orthodoxy and for good reason – flaws – and orthodoxy is not the ‘word of God’ but the traditions as men wrote them down.

    “You should learn from the example of Elymas in Acts 13 and quit perverting the right ways of the Lord before you too are given over.” (Sword)

    Another one of these statement’s huh? I will say it plainly – I am being judged unjustly here – for the 7th comment I have read like this now. However, I will not call your faith into question here – but your tactics (actions). I know you are concerned – thus the plentiful amount of warnings I guess – but at some point Sword they get insulting also. You are making claims that I think you almost wish you had the power to control – which you do not – my faith is God and I (in that exact order).

    “When the dots of all these doctrines are connected, it is clear that Jesus Christ saves sinners that believe and have faith that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for their sins.” (Jazzy Cat)

    Two things I will raise:

    (a) Grace is given to all in that passage – irregardless of who they are – and all one needs is faith – I agree

    (b) Faith – Paul is quite sure about this but people apparently can fall from the faith – correct? If they can fall how is that they fall – via their denial of their confession (words) or their actions (immorality)?

    I admit faith in God is free to all who so want it – God has been gracious enough to extend this offer via Christ to the Gentiles also. However, faith is not made complete by some salvation calculation at the point of confession – salvation is not ensured at that point. Jesus/Paul/Apostles are all quick to point out repentance at the point of contact (and as a lifestyle) and charity (love/sharing) as a way of living.

    The problem is if we take the sole aspect of the atonement as everything and nothing more is needed in our personal salvation – then why do we even read the bible? Why have church? Why do the whole worship thing? If salvation is suited up when you confess and accept Jesus’ sacrifice then ‘it is finished’ right then and there – end of story – no need more for you to do anything – cause ‘by God’s grace you have been saved – not of your own effort’. Basically, there is nothing you can do afterwards to change the salvific work of Christ at all. This view simplifies the process and misses the totality of the Christ’s message.

    Jesus taught ‘repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’. Repent – novel idea. Why would he request this – which does require participation/action on our part? Jesus also teaches the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount (chapters 5-7) – a wide range of teachings on ‘how to live for God’. For some odd reason, Jesus requires that we ‘follow’ these teachings and live a life of charity towards one another – the greatest commandments being based in love and un-gird all the teachings. Why have these included and what is their place in the Christian life?

    Fact is, the atonement comes at the end of the story and is only dedicated a chapter or 2 – but the teachings are given 20+ chapters regularly in the gospels – which all talk about repentance (responsibility) and living a life worthy of being called a ‘child of God’ (that of love/charity/compassion). It can be just me that see’s this quite clearly – the authors knew what they were doing in his process. They squarely see atonement as the sacrifice of allowance – paid the price for us to enter the ‘holiest place’ (Jesus even becoming a mediator of the real ‘holy place’ – in heaven – but just cause we can enter does not mean we know what that fully entails and our roles as ‘priests’.

    Craig said...

    The reason so many Christians are opposed to Oprah's "pluralism" is really a psychological one and has nothing to do with scripture. Their ego is what makes them so offended by it. She is saying basically that acts are what makes you a worthy person, not specific beliefs. Essentially that means any truly good person is worthy of God's love. This is hated because it means that the kingdom of Heaven is no longer an exclusive club. The fundamentalists are not special. They are as worthy of damnation as the rest of us. This pluralism makes it abundantly clear that quoting Bible verses non-stop is not enough to get you into God's good graces.

    Some people despise that thought.

    jazzycat said...

    Craig,
    You said….
    She is saying basically that acts are what makes you a worthy person, not specific beliefs. Essentially that means any truly good person is worthy of God's love.

    The problem here is that Christians believe the Bible and what it says rather than what Oprah or anyone else says. The Bible disagrees with “acts making you a worthy person.” It says in Romans 3:10 none is righteous no not one. It goes on to say that it is a belief that makes a person righteous in God’s sight. Romans 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: THEREFORE, It is faith (belief) that makes one righteous and not their acts. The nest verse tells us why a person’s acts do not make him a worthy person. V. 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, These facts are repeated over and over in the Bible. You can believe them or not believe them, but it is not fundamentalists who wrote these things in the Bible. They have been in writing for at least 2000 years. People can choose to believe Oprah or the Bible. They should give thought to who they believe.

    Craig said...

    To be absolutely frank, I don't care what the Bible says. Every "holy" book ever written has claimed to be the truth and the only way to heaven/nirvana/etc. They obviously can't all be right and the odds are that none are. But this is neither the time or place for that debate.

    My point was that I think Oprah's idea of pluralism hurts some people on a personal level more than it hurts or offends them on a spiritual level. It seems to me that when someone says "Oprah denies Christ" they could just as well say "Oprah denies ME". After all, she has the audacity to suggest that the philosophy that you have been indoctrinated into and have followed your entire life may be flawed and may not be the only way to happiness (aka Heaven). No one likes to be called wrong especially when they think they have been gifted with the knowledge of absolute truth.

    To jazzycat: I never said that acts make a person religious but that they decide if the person is good. Goodness and religion are mutually exclusive. And, while I appreciate your concern, I hold no reverence toward either the Bible or Oprah. The "Course in Miracles" stuff she's preaching is nothing more than a new age placebo. That isn't the Christian side of me but the skeptical side.

    jazzycat said...

    Craig,
    You said....
    That isn't the Christian side of me but the skeptical side.

    Are you claiming to have a Christian side? What is your point?

    Craig said...

    Jazzy: The point of that comment was to show some common ground in that I too disagree with what Oprah is doing, even if for different reason. If you'd please read the rest of my post I think you'd get understand my point.

    The name of this blog is Christian Skepticism after all and I think 1 out of 2 aint bad.

    swordbearer said...

    "To be absolutely frank, I don't care what the Bible says..." (Craig)

    Craig,
    Why should we care what you say? Apart from the basis of authority (/reason that words have any meaning/relevance) your words are meaningless / irrelevant. Since you don't look to the Bible, would you like to provide us with a rational argument for why your words / opinions should mean anything to us.

    Not only that but your words are contradictory. On the one hand
    you state acts make us worthy of God's love, and then you state "They are as worthy of damnation as the rest of us." Which is it?

    Craig said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Craig said...

    Swordbearer:

    By your logic then no one's words, unless they are written in the Bible, have any merit. That would render all debate, and in fact all society, meaningless. I should not have to explain to you why my view should matter. It is opinion and I don't have any delusion of absolute knowledge. Isn't that the reason for the comment section; opinion?

    Also, I think you misread my post or maybe I wrote it poorly. I stated that acts should make people worthy of God's love. After that I said that the people self-appointed ministers who go about quoting Bible versus are (or should be) as as worthy of damnation as the rest of us. They were two separate points and don't seem to be contradictory.